It’s funny how you forget things. A couple of days back I was writing about my lame brushes with fame. Then this morning another memory flooded back into my mind.
My Dad took me on a train to see a charity cricket match. My first ever game. I think I was about 8. It was one of those matches with former cricketers, celebrities and a few local club players. It was a decent turnout of stars so a large crowd turned up.
Some quite well known former Yorkshire and England players with one huge star. One of England’s greatest ever fast bowlers and larger than life characters, Fred Truman.
At the end of the game my Dad told me that I would like to get Fred’s autograph. That was news to me….. Handily Dad had brought an autograph book and pen. Almost as if the autograph was for him…. So I was sent off to obtain the signature while Dad finished off his beer. A bit later I came back with various scribbles, one was definitely a TV celebrity – Leslie Crowther. But no Freddie.
That clearly wasn’t to Dad‘s liking and he decided to help me now. After much looking Freddie was located. He was in the players changing room. Next thing I knew Dad had pushed me through the door with clear instructions. Your not going home until you get that signature….
I was surrounded by men in various states of undress…. All appeared to be drinking. No sign of Freddie. So I asked. Freddie was in the showers. So yes I did get the great mans autograph. When he was completely naked. How could I forget that…..
Dad was happy. I never did see MY autograph book again….
Wow how times have changed……
Sunny but cold. Cold we are used to, sunny feels like a pleasant change.
Spot the photobombing bug.
How can hand stands be so difficult. I have been trying to do one in decades. As apparently I’m hundreds of years old well then that’s a lot of decades of failure. Today joined the long line of those. But what chance do I have. I can’t even balance on one leg (somedays two legs is even beyond me). I tried the old wall trick again. Slowly raise myself against a wall. Let the wall provide balance. All goes swimmingly. Well for about second. Then the gravitational pull on my excessively large bum takes over and I hit the ground. Somedays my backside feels like a villain in the Marvel movies. It is inevitable….
But I keep trying.
One day just maybe.
There is always hope.
I remember back in 2016 and thinking I’m never going to be able to do this single parenting gig. I’m going to collapse. And yes I have repeatedly fallen over. Can’t blame my inevitable rear ended for most of those….. But I’m kinda still here. Still trying. Still doing that parenting gig. You never know I might actually get it right one day. There is always hope.
Now let’s have one more go at a handstand.
I’ve had my brushes with the famous but on a really MINI scale
We were watching a silly comedy movie when one of the characters starting talking about all the famous people he had met in his life. Presidents, Popes, Hall of Famers, Astronauts….. you name it, everyone.
“Dad as you are about 50 times older than he is you must have 50 times as many famous encounters than he has…”
Sometimes even Hawklad can’t keep the smirk from his face before he has landed the verbal punch….
Ok here goes. My attempt to be 50x more exciting than that comedy character.
- I once was smiled at by a beautiful international tennis star, kind of. We were walking in a small town in Switzerland when Anna Ivanovic walked past me and smiled at me…. Well actually she smiled and waved at the blue eyed toddler who was holding my hand. But that counts.
- Years back I was out for a run when a bus pulled up and this rather familiar looking lady stepped out and asked if I knew the way to the local concert venue. I gave her the directions and it wasn’t until later that I passed the venue and saw the poster. Thankfully I had correctly directed Alison Moyet to the venue.
- The former 6ft4 England Rugby captain once stood on my toe while I was waiting for strawberries at Wimbledon. I think the price of the 5 strawberries was far more painful than the trodden toe.
- I was training at a gym in York when the world snooker champion came onto the mat next to me to do sit-ups. Bizarrely Ronnie O’Sullivan had a broken leg…..He was playing in a major tournament in the city.
- At school we played cricket against a boy who would go on to be a fast bowler for England. Paul Jarvis. We lasted 4 overs as a team and got bowled out for 11. I bravely scored 8 of them. Two boundaries. Actually both were attempts to keep the 90mph ball from hitting me in the head. Paul Jarvis got 8 wickets. One lad refused to go out to bat. My claim to fame is that he never got me. I was bowled out by a spotty face kid who was barely strong enough to hold the cricket ball. He slowly bounced the ball down the pitch, I took the biggest swish with bat, missed and on the fourth bounce the ball trickled sadly into my wickets.
- I once got the former European footballer of the year, Kevin Keegan to sign my arm. I didn’t have any paper…
- Peter Ustinov walked past me once.
- Some of the cast of the hit TV show Auf Wiedersehen, Pet stood next to me at a bar before a Newcastle United game.
- I once patted the backside of the famous racehorse Red Rum.
- When I was at college I picked up the courage to ask this girl to dance with me at a nightclub in Middlesbrough. She unsurprisingly said NO. But one minute later she said yes to an international footballer. Bernie Slaven.
- Michael Caine might have or might not have sat at my work desk when a spy movie did some filming one weekend at the computer firm I was working for.
- In my very early 20s I had been visiting friends in London. It was early Monday morning and I was making my way back home. I was stood on the tube platform looking an absolute state. Long, uncombed hair, unshaven, metal T-shirt, holes in my tight jeans. Next to me was this immaculately dressed old man in a pin striped suit and bowler hat. He kept giving me one of those LOOKS. The great unwashed look. That chap was Enoch Powell. A famous politician. Former Member of the Government. The person who made one of the most infamous and racially charged speeches in British political history. Clearly he wasn’t impressed with me. Which is ok as I was giving him a real Paddington Bear stare back…..
That’s it. That’s my encounters with the Presidents and Popes of the world. Took me about 2500 years to do achieve all this. But it’s my own brush with fame….
Hawklad is a cheeky one. Every time we watch something on TV that refers to a historical incident he always asks ‘you were there Dad so what was it really like….”. Last night he said it when the programme mention the American Civil War. What was it like Dad….
Every so often he catches me off guard with a different line of attack.
“Dad has your musical tastes changed with age. What are your favourite 5 bands now…”
Ok that would be
Blue Oyster Cult.
“Ok Dad what were your 5 favourite bands when you were young…”
I think they were
Blue Oyster Cult
So they hadn’t changed too much.
“Was that pre CD times Dad”
Yes it was, not invented yet.
“Not much point inventing CDs back then when you were a kid as they hadn’t discovered electricity yet. Are you sure it wasn’t Beethoven you were listening to back in the medieval times.”
A day outside in the – wait for it – warm Yorkshire sunshine……
An afternoon of outdoor table tennis. An afternoon of losing my pride. It’s never been my sport. One of the few sports I can’t pick up.
“Dad Table Tennis is a MARVELlous sport. You do know the sport should be played like a game of chess. Carefully moving your opening around the table until an opening appears. That’s the idea. Your approach Dad is basically the Avengers Strategy. HULK SMASH…”
No need to mess about with the delicate strategy. Why waste time when with one massive swing of the bat you can immediately move to the ENDGAME
“But Dad you are supposed to play with VISION.
Ok I’m out now, you win the pun war. Pick up your crisp packet. If you do then you can be scaAVENGERS hero.
“I never THORt of that one Dad. Best keep the envIRON MANaged. I wonder if anyone else would understand these puns other THAN US.”
Lets not forget the stereotype. Asperger Kids don’t have a sense of humour and can’t have fun ……….
I’ve been trying to practice yoga and tai chi for months now. I diligently watch and follow the videos. All the really glossy and professional videos. I was trying again this morning. Following the instructor through her perfect routine. Even her dog sits beside her perfectly. Never moving. In the background the gentle sound of peaceful music. Perfect.
Meanwhile in deepest Yorkshire.
A muppet is seamlessly moving from one body creak to the next groan. Losing balance and crashing into furniture. Constantly fearing my pants are going to split under the galactic pressure being exerted on them. Every time I hit the ground a mad dog instantly leaps on me and I replay the Bill Murray Ghostbusters scene – I’VE BEEN SLIMED. And no gentle sound of peaceful music here. Rather the sound of derision and laughter….
“What on earth are you doing Dad”
“If this was on TV it would be banned”
“You look a right sight”
“Funnier than a Will Ferrell movie”
“Say that again Dad. Golden Rooster. More like drunken Pigeon”
“Are you supposed to be balancing on one leg or head butting the wall”
“My Dad has turned into Homer Simpson”
“Please never do this when any of my friends visit”
“Your just embarrassing yourself now”
Technically speaking this probably means that I still have a long way to go on my spiritual exercise journey. Or more likely …. time to get the mega pack of biscuits out and vegetate.
Almost a summer sky and most definitely a winter wind – it’s freezing. Definitely a two jumper day…. But still nice. Would have loved to be outside more but pesky school got in the way of that plan.
After two hours of trying to figure out how to insert graphs into an online test document…
“Dad I thought you had a degree in computing.”
Well kind of.
“Well it’s not much use here. Admit it you spent those university years in the bar…”
And on the sports pitches. Don’t forget in bed as well.
“Well that’s not helping with this is it Dad. Might as well ask the toilet seat for help.”
To be fair I focused on Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems, not stupid school packages. What you sniggering at Son….
“You. Muppet Dad. Are you sure it wasn’t Artificial Incompetence. Useless. Looks like you’ve just crashed the system now.”
Yes definitely crashed. Think it didn’t like me pressing all the keys at the same time in a slightly angry manner.
“How on earth did they let you into a university.”
I think they were desperate. I was late for the entrance interview as well. I got lost and ended up at the wrong university, in the wrong city. When I did arrive i was 3 hours late only to find out that I had the wrong day as well. I had come a day early.
“No wonder as a toddler I would talk with mum and just bash you over the head with anything I could find.”
I’ve still got the bruises.
“No Dad those are from last week where you tried to show me that you could still do a somersault on the trampoline. “
I almost did it. Just my bum got in the way.
Well over a year now since I last walked through this gate which is close to our house. That is such an odd feeling. Venture through the gate and it’s a fun walk. FUN that’s a good word. Shouldn’t we be making as much of our life’s fun.
“Dad what is it about Religious Education at my school.”
What’s wrong with it.
“At my last school RE was often fun. Interesting trips out to Mosques and Christian sites. We found out stuff. Even tried new types of food. It was hardly ever depressing or sad. We often had a laugh and looked forward to it.”
And now Hawklad I bet it’s different.
“You bet. It’s always sad and depressing. Very strict. The lessons are always on about death. Third year now and we have never had one moment of fun. Not one. Surely some smiles are allowed.”
Yes there should always be time for some smiles.
Some things in life are naturally beautiful and guaranteed to make you smile.
One of those days. Not enough sleep. School at home was a pain in the buttocks. WordPress continued to act like an incompetent evil overlord. An upcoming concert I was really looking forward to (which had already been rescheduled from last year) was cancelled. Smashed some cups (unintentionally). THEN Hawklad decided to walk into wooden table and clearly has broken his little toe. At least I can see evidence that some of my genes have passed down the family line. Nothing we can do except get him to rest up for a few days.
So in need of distraction I decided to strike one item off the growing DIY list. Let’s put the external mail box back on the wall. Much drilling, much banging, much muttering, much screwing. The mail box was up. Not a bad job at all. Level and well secured. Shame it was upside down…… Not sure what the Postman would think of a letter slot at the bottom. Not the first time my DIY has taken a walk to the a Southern Hemisphere. Summed up the day…..
On days like this those things that make you smile are even more important. Even more treasured.
Technology is definitely trying to take over. On the last post I did about ‘Sunday’s’ my autocorrect was clearly not impressed with the overall message. That would explain its desire to change every SUNDAY to SUBWAY. That would give that post a very different feel. But hang on… Is it on to something.
Maybe I’m missing out on a real money spinner. Product placement. Hidden advertisements. How much would SUBWAY pay for some subliminal advertising. Maybe it’s not too late to dream of that apartment overlooking Lake Lucerne.
WORDPRESS is really playing up. Randomly refusing to accept any editing and posting the first, rough cut of posts. Refusing to let me comment or like on some sites. Messing up the formatting. Deleting comments and removing some of my posts. Unfollowing without telling me. So frustrating that is MARS my day. What a great idea, I fancy a really healthy and tasty chocolate bar.
We soldier on with WORDPRESS. So the school at home week starts again. The last one before the Easter holiday. No actual holidays this break again. No trips to the hills and FjORDs. No need to hire a fine FORD car. At least I won’t need to worry about cutting my hair. No SAMSON nITEmares at the barbers required. But if I was going on holiday I can’t think of a finer brand of luggage to take with me than SAMSONITE.
The NEXT benefit of no holidays is I don’t need to do any holiday clothes shopping. Shopping to the wonderful and certainly not overpriced NEXT clothes stores…
But a couple of weeks will hopefully allow me to catch up on some MARVELlous DISNEY offerings. Enjoy the wonderful story telling and the hidden alLEGOries. More time to play with our LEGO sets and never stand barefooted on those really value for money LEGO mini figures.
Anyway that’s enough of me waffling on. I will get back to my grAPPLEs with WORDPRESS. But I can’t think of a finer technological platform to fight those battles on than APPLE. Thinking often requires a large amount HEINZ -sight.